Miami Newborn Photographer | Baby Roman

I am convinced that my most favorite thing to shoot besides weddings and couples would have to be babies! I love being able to hold newborns and seeing how amazing my God is to create these little people! It’s also beautiful to see the love between the mother and her baby.

This is why it’s hard for me to stay away from them. I had slowed down on my newborn photography but every time someone called or e-mailed because they were interested in booking a newborn session I couldn’t resist. Therefore, I have decided I will be returning into the newborn photography field. I will be limiting myself to the number of newborns I shoot per month especially because without a studio I will now be shooting at the client’s home. Which I believe is ten times better because the babies are more at ease in their own environment and the mom is a lot more comfortable during feedings and throughout the whole session.

Here’s a sample of some of the images I got of Baby Roman at his aunt’s house. Roman was exactly a week old when I shot him and he was as yummy as chocolate on Valentine’s Day!

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Key West Engagement Session | Katerina & John Michael

key west sunset key cottages

There’s something about going to a different destination to shoot that makes my heart warm and my brain jiggle with creativity. When I met Kat and her family they all suggested we’d go back to Key West where she and … Continue reading

Tuesday Tips & Tricks: how creativeLIVE has changed my life

CreativeLIVE has changed my life in a way I didn’t even think could be possible. I have learned to have so much more confidence in myself thanks to the workshops I have watched through this online channel that I don’t think I could’ve ever gained from school. I have yet to visit a workshop in person but it is truly one of the things on my to-do list that I need to accomplish soon.

I have previously posted on other blog posts about creativeLIVE and how I recommend it to other photographers but I have never gone in depth about it. I have watched numerous amounts of workshops and even purchased the ones that I really loved so I can watch them whenever I need to; I have also found my favorite photographers through the workshops.

My favorite photographers would definitely have to be Zach and Jody but I also love Jasmine Star. I have watched every workshop from both of these photographers; the latest one I watched is the reSTARt workshop by Jasmine and it definitely gave me that “oomph” I needed to rebuild the business in 2014 and RESTART! I can’t even begin to tell you how that workshop has helped me change the way I have based my business in the past 3 years. Starting with how to design my website and how to price my collections, all the way to identifying what my brand is and how to network with vendors and even other photographers.

I have never missed a Zach and Jody workshop. I have learned so much of the technical stuff from their workshops but especially how to establish a real relationship with all of my clients which I believe should be the CORE of every photographer’s business, especially a wedding photographer’s.

The best part about creativeLIVE’s workshops is that they’re free while they’re being broadcasted LIVE if you don’t watch it I truly believe is because of laziness or arrogance. And both things will not get you anywhere. Laziness will not allow you to learn new things and expand your horizons and arrogance won’t either. Why do I mention arrogance? Because one thing I have noticed is that many people in our industry don’t want to be taught how to do things differently because they think they either don’t need need to be taught because they know everything or they don’t want to be taught by other photographers.  One thing I can tell you from my own experience is that if things aren’t working then you must be doing something wrong and it doesn’t hurt to watch the workshops. Especially if they’re being broadcasted for FREE all day, BUT, if you work all day and simply don’t have time to watch it purchasing them for $150 or $79 while they’re being broadcasted is I think something that’s doable and that will help you out in the long run. In order to succeed in photography one must invest their money and their time.

Motivational Mondays: Sacrifices and Ambition

Many of you know I am on vacation in Nicaragua. I came unexpectedly for two reasons: to visit family and to see what the market is like out here for destination weddings. But sometimes we make plans that God ends up laughing at. I got sick with strep throat and had to stop what I was doing to stay home (with my grandma, aunt, and her family) and it was a major eye opener.

Living in a third world country is not easy for many. The opportunities are not around the way that we have them in the states. Yet there are so many of us that still complain on how bad we have it. It’s not until you get out and visit one of these countries that you realize how great you really have it.

I have cousins that have majored as engineers, architects, dentists, doctors, or finance majors and barely make $300 a month, yet we complain that we don’t have the latest trends. I have family members that ride the public bus every where they go with no a/c, yet we complain because our car isn’t a Mercedes or BMW. But one thing I know for sure is that I am so grateful to have the father I have.

My dad left the country when he was 20 years old. In search of better opportunities and because at the time Nicaragua was going through a war that he didn’t believe in and didn’t want to fight for. He moved to Honduras for 5 years and then to Miami. In Miami he worked at a Burger King to provide for my mom and me but not once did he regret leaving his country, he kept promising himself and my mom that he would one day become a computer programmer and he did.

That hunger and ambition was his drive. He had to make sacrifices and leave his country, language, parents, sisters, and family at a very young age to become what he wanted to become because he didn’t want to live a mediocre life. And that’s one of the things he has taught me. He’s always pushed me to find the one thing I love and never give up, to push it enough to where I perfect it and make it in life using my talents. But the most important thing he has taught me is to always put God above all things because He will help you through it all.

Maybe I’m a little homesick right now or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been watching a bunch of people living a not so great life that’s made me so thankful to be where I’m at – all thanks to one man that sacrificed and had the drive to better himself…

I want MY dad to be able to say that all his sacrifices were worth it because they got ME somewhere in life. THAT is enough for me to have that drive and ambition that he once had at 20 years old.

Tips and Tricks: For my brides

In order for your wedding day to run smoothly there are plenty of things that should be taken care of well in advance; but due to the nature of the day and how stressful things can become, we always try to help out our couples in remembering certain details that will make it easier for them to relax on their special day.

– We recommend always having a timeline ready at least a week before the wedding. This timeline should be e-mailed out to all your vendors especially to your photographers so that we know where you will be and at what time to photograph you and the details.

– We recommend having one of the bridesmaids or the maid of honor be responsible for where all the details are during the prepping shots. This bridesmaid should also be the one to gather all the items and take them to the ceremony site.

– In order to have an amazing backdrop during the bride’s prepping shots we recommend getting a nice bridal suite close to the ceremony site. This will ensure that all your bridesmaids will be with you and make it more fun for you and your bridal party while you’re getting dressed. It will also ease the stress and anxiety before you walk down the aisle.

– Having your flowers delivered to where you’re getting ready is also one of the things you should consider so that when you’re fully dressed and looking beautiful we can take advantage of some free time and take some of the bridal portraits. Therefore, your bouquet should be where you are.

– We always recommend our Brides and Grooms to get their bouquet and garter toss done right after the cake cutting and before the dancing begins. This should all be done right after dinner. This will allow those guests that have children leave when they need to, or the older crowd that goes to bed early leave right after the cake cutting.

– One of the best advice I can give my brides is to have an emergency kit ready with them. This will include clear nail polish, mints, a sewing kit, stain treater, visine, safety pins, bobby pins, pain relievers, deodorant, and baby powder. That baby powder is the best thing when you’re wearing a mermaid style gown and getting married outdoors.

– If you’re getting married outdoors always make sure to have a “rain plan” ready with your coordinator.

And finally… always remember that no matter how much you plan and how much you try to control things… Something will probably go wrong, take it slowly, accept it, and just enjoy yourself the most you can. Your wedding day will come and go very quickly and what matters is the commitment you’re making to each other in front of your family and friends everything else is just superficial.

Miami Beach Resort & Spa | Annie & Carlos Wedding

Ever meet someone and feel like you’ve known them for years? Like you could possibly become best friends? The minute I met Annie & Carlos at a Bridal show I participated in last year we clicked. Carlos has a great sense of humor and loves Annie more words could ever explain. Annie on the other hand is a laid back, loving girl, full of grace and a good heart. I met them and I immediately fell in love with them. A couple of weeks later we sat down at the studio and we were both sold! I was sold on them because I knew almost immediately that I wanted to tell their story through photographs and they were sold on me because I listened.

I will always be so grateful for both of them – because to me they didn’t become just my clients they became friends! I mean, they even moved all the way from North Miami Beach to my area cause they didn’t want to stay away from me after their wedding! lol 😉

Here’s a sneak peek of their gorgeous wedding this weekend at Miami Beach Resort & Spa.

Dadeland Marriott | Becca and Matt Wedding

Here’s a glimpse of Becca and Matt’s wedding in December at Silver Palm United Methodist Church in the Redlands followed by a beautiful reception at the Dadeland Marriott.

An Open Letter to “new” photographers

I quote “new” because I define myself as a new photographer too. I’ve been in the industry for 3.5 years compared to others that have been in it for 20+, but I can speak as a new photographer and tell you from my own experiences what to expect from people in the industry as a new photographer.

You can expect a lot of

eye rollings – when you ask for advice or post up photos of your recent work, that’s if you don’t get…

harsh criticism – sure, some people will critique your work, but be careful, some will critique it because they don’t want to see you succeed while others will critique you so that you may become better. Choose wisely. Those that want you to become better will be harsh and sometimes make you cry but it’s not until you start accepting that critique; that you will challenge yourself to become ten times better.

people not wanting to help – when I first started I reached out to many, some were very kind to respond back and others never did, some gave me links to courses that I could take while others let me assist and learn by being their shadow. And while I  was building my portfolio I got…

a lot of friends AND FAMILY wanting me to shoot them… for “FREE” – value your worth just because you’re starting out doesn’t mean you should work for free. I mean, think about it, nobody does, so why should you? Want to gain experience? Shadow someone, take some classes, ask around and when you feel like you’re good enough to charge, start charging. But don’t start off as a free photographer because people will get used to that. And then if they don’t want it for free you’ll get…

people asking for discounts – you will get PLENTY of these, some people will have stories that will touch your heart and you’ll want to help them while others just don’t value the price in their photographs as they’d much rather spend more on their dress and shoes than on the one thing that will last them forever. Once again, choose wisely who you’d like to help out. After all you’ve got bills to pay and you’ll spend…

lots of sleepless nights editing – you will spend hours and hours editing. And sometimes you’ll end up hating the outcome so you’ll stop one night, pick it up the next night and spend hours and hours editing only to see that you hate it even more the next night. It’s frustrating, it’s hopeless, but it will get better. But then you will make…

tons of mistakes – you’ll make plenty of these. A year later, five years later, ten years later you’ll still make them. It’s learning from them that makes you better. Your lighting will suck sometimes, your posing will make someone look “not so good”, and sometimes you’ll forget certain things. Just remember everybody makes them.

BUT here’s my advice to you, (again this is based on my own experiences)…

there are people out there that are willing to help – just don’t get mad if they don’t tell you EVERYTHING, lots of these people know what they know from all the struggles mentioned above. They got the eye rollings and the people not wanting to help out, they might’ve started their portfolio for free or very cheap, they spent lots of nights editing and still hated their work, and most of all they made mistakes. Lots of them. But they never gave up, they pursued it, educated themselves and invested a lot of time, sweat, and tears into their art – they expect you to do the same. They didn’t get things handed to them on a silver platter, they won’t hand it to you either.

educate yourself and invest your time and money into it – once again don’t expect everything to be FREE. You don’t like it when people want you to shoot them for free – other photographers don’t want to give all of their information for FREE. Put your money into it… if you’re really serious about it.

don’t be afraid to charge and when your portfolio is good enough it’s okay to raise your price – this doesn’t mean you should be charging an arm and a leg if you’re starting out especially without an established portfolio. It’s not fair to your clients. In order to run, one must first learn to crawl. Build yourself up. Create a brand for yourself. But once you’ve got an established portfolio and your work is “good enough” it’s okay to raise your prices. You’re perfecting your craft, investing money into your gear, and more time into your photographs your price needs to reflect your quality.

spend lots of sleepless nights editing – that’s how you’ll learn to edit better. It’s how you’ll see your mistakes. It’s how you’ll learn to shoot better so that you don’t have to spend a bunch of sleepless nights editing in the future.

and make your mistakes… – it’s how you’ll learn. I’ve shot more than 20 weddings in 2.5 years but with every wedding I learn new things and I make a mistake if not few. Those mistakes help me learn to do things differently at my next wedding. Those mistakes make me challenge myself. Those mistakes have made me better.

 

 

 

 

Motivational Mondays: 2014 Goals (2 days late)

With 2014 currently underway, I have been dedicating some time to myself as well as my business. Wedding photography can definitely take a toll on your body, especially with the amount of equipment we carry and how heavy it can get after a couple of hours, so it’s been time for me to hit the gym.

So now talking about some of the goals, here’s a list I’ve made of things I would like to accomplish in 2014!

1 – Get physically fit! Being skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy, it just means you’re skinny, so I want to get FIT!

2 – book more weddings this year than I did last year

3 – Shoot in different cities (New York, Tennessee, North Carolina, those are a few of the ones on my list)

4 – participate in more bridal shows!

5 – meet interesting people and create lifelong friends!

6 – create more of a name for myself!